Monday, March 18, 2013

Ice Boats on Toronto Bay in 1920

I'm not entirely sure exactly where this is, since the caption just says Toronto Bay. But it looks like one of the wharfs at the lakefront. Ice boating seems to have been a pretty big thing back in the day, sailing across the frozen harbour. And sledding across the lake was too. In Anna Jameson's book about her travels here in the 1830s, she writes about a trip to Niagara in which she had to cross Burlington Bay on the ice:

"The road was the same as before, with one deviation however—it was found expedient to cross Burlington Bay on the ice, about seven miles over, the lake beneath being twenty, and five-and-twenty fathoms in depth. It was ten o'clock at night, and the only light was that reflected from the snow. The beaten track, from which it is not safe to deviate, was very narrow, and a man, in the worst, if not the last stage of intoxication, noisy and brutally reckless, was driving before us in a sleigh. All this, with the novelty of the situation, the tremendous cracking of the ice at every instant, gave me a sense of apprehension just sufficient to be exciting, rather than very unpleasant, though I will confess to a feeling of relief when we were once more on the solid earth." 


I've written a bit about her book before: her description of seeing the Northern Lights in Toronto here and the story of Canada's first race riot here. Plus, I've done a dreams postcard for her, too.

I found this photo thanks to Derek Flack's post of old Toronto winter photos here.

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